LivingTravelWhere to find the geographic extremes of Ireland

Where to find the geographic extremes of Ireland

Ireland and its extremes, according to the cardinal points. Extreme travel doesn’t have to include parachute jumping and alligator fighting, sometimes it’s enough to search for the most extreme geographic locations a country can offer. In fact, it has become increasingly popular trying to reach specific geographic points while traveling. Climbing the highest peaks is a well-known example. If you ask mountaineers why they usually answer “because they are there.”

So, get into the extreme travel act and record some Irish extremes as you do it. None of these are really just for the daredevils, but some of them demand a good degree of aptitude. For anyone interested in doing this, here are the geographical extremes of Ireland:

Ireland’s extreme points on the continent

  • Ireland’s northernmost point is the Banba Crown, located near Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula (County Donegal). Note that this is further north than all of Northern Ireland.
  • Ireland’s easternmost point is Burr Point on the Ards Peninsula (County Down). The easternmost point of the Republic (Ards is in Northern Ireland) is Wicklow Head (County Wicklow).
  • Ireland’s southernmost point is Brow Head in Mallavoge, near Crookhaven (County Cork).
  • Ireland’s westernmost point: Dunmore Head, near Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula (County Kerry).

Mizen Head (County Cork) has tried to attract visitors by referring to the lighthouse as the ‘most south-western point of Ireland’, a somewhat arbitrary designation, but it is worth the effort of traveling there, the scenery is simply breathtaking, and a literally impressive bridge takes you to the lighthouse over a deep chasm.

Extreme points of Ireland (islands included)

  • The northernmost point of Ireland, considering all the claimed territory, would be Inishtrahull Island (County Donegal).
  • The easternmost point of Ireland, considering all the claimed territory, would be Canon Rock on the Ards Peninsula (County Down). The easternmost point of the Republic is Lambay Island (County Dublin).
  • The southernmost point of Ireland, considering all the claimed territory, would be Fastnet Rock (County Cork).
  • The westernmost point of Ireland, considering all the claimed territory, would be Tearaght Island (County Kerry).

Ireland’s 10 tallest mountains

  • Carrauntoohil – 1,038 metros,
  • Beenkeragh – 1,010 metros,
  • Caher – 1,001 metros,
  • Worm’s Hill – 988 metros,
  • Caher West Top – 975 metros,
  • Buffer – 973 meters,
  • The Bones – 959 metros,
  • Cnoc an Chullinn – 958 metros,
  • Monte Brandon – 951 meters,
  • The Cannon – 939 metros.

Note that nine of these mountains are part of Macgillycuddy’s Reeks in County Kerry, with Mount Brandon (on the Dingle Peninsula, also in County Kerry) being the only exception.

The highest mountain outside of Kerry would be Lugnaquilla at 925 meters, located in the Wicklow Mountains. The highest mountain in Northern Ireland is Slieve Donard at 852 meters, located in the Morne Mountains in County Down.

Ireland’s lowest landmass

Unlike many other countries, Ireland does not have a real land mass below sea level. Therefore, the lowest points are on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, basically the entire coast of Ireland, with the exception of the cliffs. The people of Wexford may dispute this, pointing out that North Slob is actually 10 feet below sea level, but then North Slob is reclaimed land, gained by building a seawall.

A note on Rockall

In theory, Rockall’s little ‘island’ would be both the northernmost and westernmost point of Ireland, but since Rockall is nothing more than a shadowy rock in the middle of nowhere, it should be discarded. Contrary to ‘common knowledge’, Rockall has never been claimed as territory by the Republic of Ireland, whereas the United Kingdom did so in 1955. The Irish government rejected the United Kingdom’s claim without presenting its own.

Since 2014, mutually agreed charts showing the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom have basically ignored Rockall, leaving him out of the Irish EEZ.

For nationalists, Rockall has long been a point of contention: the seminal Republican music group “The Wolfe Tones” made it part of their repertoire, with the song “Rock On, Rockall.” Public interest in the issue has long waned. Rockall no longer seems to be a problem.

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